Los Angeles teachers are inching closer to a strike after three mediation sessions between the district and its teachers’ union failed to reach an agreement.
The two sides will now enter a “fact-finding” stage, during which an independent third party will review the arguments and recommend a solution. Once a chairperson is appointed by the state, the fact-finding panel has 30 days to submit a non-binding report. Then, the district could submit a final offer. If that doesn’t satisfy the United Teachers of Los Angeles, they could call for a strike—the first in the district since 1989.
Already, a majority of union members voted to authorize a strike. The union is asking for a 6.5 percent pay raise, a reduction in class sizes, and more school nurses, librarians, and restorative-justice advisers. It is also asking for limits on standardized testing and accountability measures for charter schools.
The district’s last offer included a 6 percent pay raise for all teachers, additional pay for teachers who take courses in high-needs subjects, and reduced class sizes for core subjects in some schools. The union called that offer “insulting” and a “stunning example of disrespect” to teachers.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2018 edition of Education Week as Los Angeles Teachers Poised to Strike After Three Rounds of Mediation Fail